New Year’s Day is just a day in the calendar. On New Year’s Eve we go to bed and when we wake up , everything is exactly the same, except it isn’t. Our minds and souls feel very differently about the significance of the date.
Some of us have New Year’s resolutions. We are going to do things better this year. We have set ourselves new goals. We are going to ‘turn over a new leaf’. Try explaining that expression to a child with autism!
But mostly we wish. We wish for so many things.
I remember being single in my thirties. I wished for a partner. Someone I could spend my life with. I pleaded and bargained with myself and the universe. If I get this wish, I will be satisfied. But of course, once that wish was fulfilled and I was married, I was not satisfied. I wished for a child. Being one of four children, I really didn’t want to have just one child. So secretly , I wished for more than one child. I got my wish. I had twins.
But still I was not satisfied. I wanted more children. Many tears and many years later, I have four boys. When our youngest son was also diagnosed with autism, I was of course upset. I expressed my sadness to a ‘friend’ who remarked ‘be careful what you wish for, your wishes may come true.’
We do not have complete control over our destinies but we can try our hardest to achieve our goals and desires.
Do we wish one big all encompassing wish? A cure for the severe type of autism which affects so many of our children? Or do we wish incremental wishes each year like I did with my plans for a family?
At age three and non verbal, my wish for my boys was to say a word. Then to say more words and years later, to speak.
Some years, my wish has been to win at tribunal. To find a suitable school or college placement for one of the boys. To get an EHCP finalised with what they need and to get funding for it.
Those are practical wishes. They are more within my control and I can fight to get those wishes.
Some wishes are much harder to achieve. I wish for partners for my boys, I think those will be girlfriends if we or they can find them. I wish for their happiness to achieve their own goals. For Benjamin to become a musician. For Thomas to run in the Olympics. For Hector to work as an artist. Marcus? I don’t yet know his desires but he has talents.
I will wish for all those things for them.
I wish for acceptance of all those with autism. Real acceptance, particularly for those with severe autism who seem to have been forgotten by many. And yes, a cure for autism for those who want it. I know many parents who wouldn’t hesitate for a moment if there was a cure.
For now, while there is no cure, we will continue to fight for our children. To do everything we can to change the course of their lives.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year and may 2019 be the year some of your wishes are granted.
(Marcus at Kew Gardens’ Christmas lights, tying the wish he had written onto the wishing tree. It was for an xbox one! p.s. He was absolutely delighted on Christmas Day when his wish came true).